Friday, March 30, 2012

Little Moments

I always try and enjoy the little moments, the ones that aren't crazy exciting or super eventful. 
I think these ordinary moments are the ones I will look back on and remember the most.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Casey's 19th

Casey and the babies and one of her gifts I made.
Happy Birthday Casey Simone!
Always remember, Sisters = Soulmates
I love you and am so happy to call you my sister.
And Cambria thanks you for being her favorite... ;)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Amber Teething Necklaces

I recently purchased amber teething necklaces from the birth center for both kids.  Ezra is right in the middle of teething and Cambria is way past it, but the amber is supposed to offer benefits other than just relieving teething symptoms so I figured I'd give it a try for both of them.

"Among other things, amber is a natural analgesic (pain reliever) and anti-inflammatory. When amber is worn on the skin, the warmth of the skin releases trace amounts of healing oils on the skin. Commonly known as "teething jewelry," baltic amber has been a natural and traditional European remedy for teething discomfort for hundreds of years." source

Lots of moms I've recently started associating with through cloth diaper groups and a mommy bootcamp fitness class have babies who wear them, so of course I wanted them for mine too :)  It's been great getting to know so many women who are like-minded in their parenting ideas and styles because we are able to discuss things and learn from one another.  Hopefully the necklaces will have some positive effects, but either way, Cambria and Ezra will look cute wearing them!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Egg Carton Gardens

Whenever we buy eggs I think about how we could do something fun and creative with the cartons.
And every time I just throw them in the recycling.  
But not anymore! 
I've decided I'm going to start doing things with these wonderful little egg holders.  
So for our first project we planted seeds.
First we painted them in our jammies. {and yes, my floor often looks like this}
Meticulous painting.
Then we added some glitter because, why not? :)
Later that day we went out back and filled them with soil.
And then we quickly came inside to plant the seeds because the gnats were EATING US ALIVE.
We planted some zinnias, sunflowers, parsley, oregano and carrots.
And now we wait...
Except LOOK what I just found!!
I can't wait to show Cambria in the morning.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Lots and lots of food

As I'm sure many people already know, three out of the four people in our household are vegetarian. {Kyle being the non-vegetarian}  I've been a vegetarian since 7th grade.  Kyle has eaten meat his entire life.  He eats meat out, but never at home.  I ate fish for the first few years and then stopped eating it sometime in high school.  Over the years, I've gotten lots of questions and concerns about this lifestyle choice.  Is it the best way to feed yourself and your children? I can't say yes for everyone, but it works very well for us.  Is it healthy? Again, I can't say what's healthiest for everyone, but for us, our diet is *usually* healthy and nutritious.  But what do you EAT? Everything and anything!

In our house, we eat a variety of foods.  We have our staples, but I am always trying out new recipes and new ingredients.  At least two nights a week I find a recipe either online, in a magazine {Vegetarian Times or Whole Living}, Pinterest, or in one of my vegetarian cookbooks.  I can definitely understand how a person who consumes meat at every meal could have a hard time realizing our diet is anything but dull and boring.  My kids eat every type of vegetable both raw and cooked, tons and tons of fruit, whole grains, cheese, yogurt, eggs and so much more.  {We aren't vegan so we do eat eggs and dairy} And actually, recently, Kyle and I decided to start eating fish in our home for nutritional and convenience reasons. It is something I am still going back and forth on, so not sure if it will be a permanent change or not.  And to be honest, eating fleshy fish still really weirds me out.

Other than fish, neither of my children have ever eaten meat.  The few times we've offered Cambria fish she hasn't touched it or she's put it in her mouth and instantly spit it back out.  Ezra is too young to notice or care at this point, but he doesn't seem to mind the change.

Whenever something is really delicious, I take a picture of the dish to remember it and because I'm usually proud of the meal. :)Here are some of my favorites over the last few months.  {Seriously, we take lots of pictures of food!}
This was pasta with homemade pesto, spinach and then topped with ricotta cheese.  Roasted butternut squash as a side.  We add spinach to our pasta by throwing it in the bottom of the colander then pouring the boiling water and noodles over it to wilt the leaves.  Such an easy way to add some dark leafy greens to your meal!
This is brown rice, amazing homemade veggie stir-fry sauce {(neverhome)maker is an excellent resource for a vegetarian diet}, pan-fried tofu, and a side of roasted broccoli. One day I am going to do a post on cooking tofu the way it's pictured above.  It's seriously good!
This was some risotto that I cannot find, roasted asparagus, and butternut squash soup.  Can you tell that we like to roast our veggies around here... :)

This was a Saturday morning where I made the quiche recipe my sister first shared on her blog, but I added spinach and ate it with coffee and honeydew.
We love smoothies! Again, (neverhome) has some awesome smoothies recipes.  This one is the 20/20 shake. Some staple smoothie ingredients I use: almond milk, frozen fruit, oats, maple syrup, agave nectar, bananas, ice, peanut butter, coconut flakes, spinach.
This is the same stir-fry from above except with quinoa pasta.  Definitely recommend the pasta if you're looking for less wheat/gluten.
A typical snack for Cambria.  Strawberries, grapes, carrots and cucumbers.
A marinated then grilled portobella mushroom topped with lots and lots of cheese and roasted red peppers, roasted Brussels sprouts and red potatoes with cheese cooked in the crock pot.
Lunch of PB&J {one of the favorites in our household}
Apparently she liked it.
Blueberries and falafel in a pita with tzatziki sauce.
Another typical lunch, Annie's Mac n' Cheese with added frozen peas and carrots + strawberries.
We LOVE Mellow Mushroom.  Our favorite pizza: BBQ base, BBQ tofu, and onions. Yuuuuuuuuum.
Egg salad sandwich recipe here.
Store-bought cheese tortellini and pesto, kale chips, and roasted carrots.
Blueberries, raspberries, scrambled egg and peanut butter toast for breakfast.
Caprese: shells, tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil, basil, and a little kale {or whatever leafy green we have in the fridge}.  This recipe was passed down from my college roommate Kirsten and I believe all of us make it now with our own families. 
One of the meals I've made with fish: sauteed shrimp and onions and peppers, corn salsa, tomatoes, avocado, sour cream, broccoli...basically a burrito bowl.
Whole wheat English muffin topped with hummus, pesto, avocado and sprouts.  Side of sweet potato fries and extra pesto for dipping.  {I found recipe in Whole Living magazine, but can't find it online}
And of course I can't forget our most favorite yogurt, CHOBANI! I know I've talked about this yogurt many times before but we just really, really love it.

In the last few months, I've really become more conscious of what I am putting in my body and in my children's. We definitely aren't perfect and have our fair share of guilty pleasures: Seasons of Japan, Olive Garden, and coke, just to name a few. With every single meal I analyze the nutritional benefit or lack thereof {sometimes to an unhealthy extent}. I want to grow healthy children now and instill in them a love of good, wholesome food for the rest of their lives. 
I hope I've inspired someone to make one of these recipes. I'll try and post more as I make other delicious foodies!

Friday, March 9, 2012


Do you like beets? Do you hate them? Are you not sure? Either way, you HAVE to try this borscht recipe I made earlier this week.  After trying borscht that was actually made with beef broth {didn't know until after, oops!} I knew I wanted to try to make a vegetarian version that was just as tasty.  So I stumbled upon this recipe on theKitchn and decided to give it a try.  It was a HUGE success!!! I'm now seriously obsessed with the recipe and will probably be making it again very soon.  I don't want to post the ingredients or the directions because I'm not sure if I can do that so just follow the links. 
It went perfect with grilled cheese on some bakery bread.
The sour cream on top makes it creamy and delicious.
The kids both gobbled it up and had second and third helpings.  The color of the soup is a little deceiving because it actually has a very rich and hearty flavor despite the reddish color caused by the beets.  Please try this recipe if you are looking for a new delicious soup in your life! And let me know what you think if you do. 

On a side note: can you guess what we attempted to do yesterday but couldn't because I forgot cash?
I had just run 3+ miles while pushing 70+ lbs of baby and stroller, please excuse my looks :)
Yep, strawberry picking season is back! Can't wait to pick a ton to freeze them for the rest of the year. Spring is here and so is the pollen, gross.  But I'm wondering what the heck happened to "winter" because I never felt it...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

To the mountains we went!

This past weekend we took a little trip to the North Carolina mountains for a two-night cabin stay. 
It was an awesome retreat from our normal routine and I think every member of our family enjoyed it.  
{Well, Ezra may not have enjoyed ALL of it because he had the sniffles}
We stayed outside of Bryson City waaay out in the boonies.
Serious boonies with no internet and no phone service.
We had food, a hot tub, nature and each other and that was really all we needed.
We took a few trips into town, but spent most of our time at the cabin. 
The two bad things though: Ezra slept bad both nights because of his sniffles and I was honestly kinda scared at how remote the surrounding area know how your thoughts wander at nighttime....
But overall it was an adventure I'm really glad we had.
It was nice breaking away from our everyday life to experience something refreshing and exciting.  
Here are a few moments from the trip.
pb&j for lunch
"I'm tired" were Kyle's exact words in this moment.
can't stay at a cabin without eating s'mores
or playing with dominoes
hiking up to see the waterfall
stopped in Asheville on the way home for lunch and it SNOWED and we got to eat at the delicious The Green Sage
pants saggin'
Until next time, Alarka Creek 2!